I am really glad to see this. I think it will add interest for the sport. My son is in the sixth grade this year and I think it will be fun to track his progress on here for the next 7 years.
It be helpful if people can let me know which counties, cities, and schools offer middle school track in Virginia so I can know which areas to target to get the word out that MileStat.com will post their meet results.
Have you ever considered covering the USATF/AAU mega-meets that occur every weekend from April to July? I know you have had some past coverage of national meets, but it is a huge market for potential subscribers and some incredible performances by younger athletes. It would be cool to track athletes from the midget class on up. Just a suggestion.
We've considered it at milesplit...there are just logistic problems in particular with the database in covering USATF/AAU meets.
I've created team pages so far for all Chesterfield, Chesapeake, Hanover, and Henrico middle school. I'll look around more for counties and city around the state which have middle school track seasons.
Eliteyouth.com does a decent job of age group national rankings for both USATF & AAU, but it would be pretty cool to see a VA-centric system for the summer season from Milestat. The various teams have such a following, and as a parent of an "unattached", I found that there was no comprehensive database for VA runners, such as you offer for HS (& now MS) athletes. I have always been a big fan of the developmental summer teams and now see so many of the youth my son has competed against listed in your leaderboards.
Yeah its just that our site's database is setup and geared towards teams and grades instead of clubs and age groups, so like I said it won't be an easy and not complicated way to set the database to work with both teams & clubs as well as grades & age groups. Its almost like you would have to create two separate websites and databases. Middle school and college are both much easier transitions for the high school profiles. I know one major pain with age group meets is the number of unattached athletes. We match athletes first for their stats by their team and their name second.
I understand your limitations of programming deviations from the status quo, it just seems like an incredible untapped market for your website. It may be worth exploratory discussions with an IT savant to develop a solution.
Plus there is also the dynamics of the hatred between high school and club coaches in our sport. They just don't mesh like road racing and high school XC/T&F. I'd much rather side with the high school coaches in that battle and would rather not upset them by appearing to be a website promoting the club coaching. Can't upset my most loyal base and supporters in the high school coaches. Parents and athletes come and go every 4 years, but the coaches remain.
Arlington County has five middle schools that have a track team
Stafford County has 8 public middle schools with boys and girls spring track
Mr. Brandon, I have seen the other Milestat sites have great coverage of both club and school results. I have had to go to Illinois, Kentucky's and Alabama's site for results on AAU/USATF events on many occassions. They have the club team coverage and stats covered-with picts. I hope this isn't a VA thing. I believe if you cover the AAU STate & National Qualifier a little bit more..you won't have anyone leaving. THe loyal fan based need this site too much to leave on hating. That's ridiculous. I don't think anyone out there will be like that. THe little meets..I can understand not having coverage but having the picts and connecting with the meet managers of the big summer va meets-like July 4-9th USATF Regionals will be @ CNU..heads up..you should be able to increase your subscriptions there. If you hook up with Mr. Tony Vaughan early enough to get info set up about that meet, Mr. Moore for the AAU-State/National Qualifier. My point is just that if other state- club teams are seeming to have free range on their Milestats why not we have a little more coverage in VA?
City of Portsmouth just had their 1st citywide meet today. Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk all have Middle School Leagues.
I'm not sure what MileSplit state sites you are visiting on our network that really have any extensive and great
coverage of the club/summer track season. I find that hard to believe knowing well the webmasters and content that they produce. When I covered the AAU Junior Nationals in Norfolk, I think that was first that anyone within MileSplit committed that amount of coverage to an age group nationals. The ones you mentioned don't even have much or any real coverage during the high school season with the exception of Kentucky.
It isn't a VA thing in regards to lack of coverage of the AAU/USATF meets, its a universal thing for the MileSplit Network as it was originally created for the high school seasons of cross country and track and that specific niche. People are coming to the site to look for specific content. I don't post much college content on the site in particular articles because I think that takes away from attention from the high school athletes that should be this site's primary focus. I want to be writing about high school athletes by their high school affiliations and not their club affiliations.
Some states are much bigger into club track than others, especially when they have short track seasons (no indoor season and outdoor season ends early), so the clubs fill a void there. Since Virginia has a long high school track season from December to June (6 months long) I believe is why you don't see club track being as big of a deal for high school athletes compared to maybe athletes in states with shorter school track seasons.
Like I mentioned before, I think MileSplit will eventually have to create something separate for the club teams and stats because it just doesn't mix well with the current high school team setup similar to doing something for road racing (like for the entry system). Yes its definitely a big market we'd like to tap into (I've never seen more athletes & parents at a track meet when I covered the AAU Nationals), but there are some logistic issues to do it right.
Daniel Morgan, Warren County, and some of the Frederick County middle schools have track and XC.
I know that up here around Charlottesville a lot of schools have it. King George, Fredericksburg, Orange, Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna for sure. Some middle schools that I know have outdoor track teams:
Buford Middle School
Prospect Heights Middle School (Orange County)
Locust Grove Middle School (Orange County)
Louisa County Middle School
Fluvanna County Middle
Unfortunately, I don't know the names of a lot of the other middle schools.
Orange is looking to add middle school cross country, but it is possible we will have one combined team between our two middle schools (not sure we would have enough kids to field a team if we do this individually) that would run as Orange County Middle Schools.
Roanoke City has 5 teams and Roanoke County has 4 and Salem City has 1. As a matter of fact Addison Middle School has turned out several competitors that were at the top of the middle school standings nationally, Warren Craft and David Prince, during their time there.
Albemarle track program for the middle schools is run through the county's Park & Rec department. They only have one meet at the end of the season, a county middle school championship.
William Monroe Middle School, in Greene, had a program for two years, but suspended it last year while the big athletic complex renovations were under way. I have not heard if it is back in existance.
Over the past two days I've added quite a few middle school team pages and found a few emails of middle school coaches to reach out to them to start sending me results. Still a lot of work to do and won't be a overnight change in getting a large mass of results from the middle schools, but confident can make progress similar to what MileStat.com did for the high school community a decade ago when results and information were hard to come by.
Maybe down the road we can achieve something similar to what Jason down in Florida has done in creating a middle school state championship meet with qualifiers.
Glad to see you going down the path of supporting the next generation of our athletes. It's so awesome to be able to see them progress from the middle school ranks up through high school and college! And it's an important thing for us to motivate them early to gain a greater love for the sport.
To echo Brandon with clubs... believe me, we'd really love to have a way to get the age group and youth database going... and are actively brainstorming on ways to make that happen. It's just very challenging because you don't wnat to create a huge mess in the database with thousands of duplicate profiles. It's very difficult for us to process the results and match Ashley Smith on a track club (just making up a name) and know which Ashley Smith it is from her school. It just would create a big mess and as of now we don't have a good answer for it.
I am glad that this is opening up to middle schools. One thing to be aware of...there are A LOT of middle school coaches who do not know how to time. The sprint races will have some definite errors because most meets are hand timed.
On the va miles state ranking list it tells you whether a result is hand timed or automatic. A lot of High School meets are hand timed also. This is taken into account Im sure. Middle School Leagues are strapped as it is, last weeks Ptown league used volunteers from the High School teams to volunteer.